Send to

Choose Destination
Acad Emerg Med. 2000 Feb;7(2):181-5.

Rattlesnake venom-induced thrombocytopenia response to Antivenin (Crotalidae) Polyvalent: a case series.

Author information

Loma Linda University Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, CA 92354, USA.



To test the hypothesis that rattlesnake venom-induced thrombocytopenia would improve following Antivenin (Crotalidae) Polyvalent administration, and that the degree of platelet increase would correlate with the dosage of antivenom.


The authors conducted a retrospective review of all patients admitted for rattlesnake envenomation at two southern California hospitals between 1980 and 1998. Patients were included if platelet count was less than 150 x 10(9)/L following a rattlesnake bite. Patients were excluded if they received platelet transfusion. The relationship between Antivenin (Crotalidae) Polyvalent administration and venom-induced thrombocytopenia was evaluated by linear regression and paired t-test.


The authors identified 103 cases of rattlesnake envenomation. Seventeen cases met inclusion criteria for thrombocytopenia. Two patients were excluded because they received platelet transfusions. One additional patient was excluded from paired t-test only because no antivenom was given. Thrombocytopenia usually improved between presentation and discharge (mean difference, 44 x 10(9)/L), although complete resolution was often not achieved. A statistically significant partial improvement in platelet counts immediately after antivenom administration was observed in a subset of patients with severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count <100 x 10(9)/L) (mean difference, 64 x 10(9)/L). Using regression analysis, the authors did not detect a linear relationship between the amount of Antivenin (Crotalidae) Polyvalent administered and the degree of improvement.


Although rattlesnake venom-induced thrombocytopenia usually improves immediately after Antivenin (Crotalidae) Polyvalent administration and by the time of discharge, the degree of improvement is frequently incomplete and of uncertain clinical significance in the absence of life-threatening bleeding. The authors found no correlation between the degree of improvement and the dosage of Antivenin (Crotalidae) Polyvalent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center